Home Fitness The Beginner : Running Beyond 5k and Cracking Your First 10k

The Beginner : Running Beyond 5k and Cracking Your First 10k

by Tanya Agarwal

Isn’t victory being able to push our bodies and minds to their limits and, in doing so, discovering that they have led us to find ourselves anew and to create new dreams?”
― Kilian JornetRun or Die

My last article also began on a Kilian Jornet quote.  Sitting in my study, I go through his videos, his quotes and feel a rush of inspiration go through me, sometimes leaving me with goosebumps and sometimes making me dreamy- eyed. How I want to go and run the mountain trails, discover new panoramas, get tired, pick myself up and get going again chasing another breath-taking view of the mountains. I’ll be touching almost 3 years of running in October 2017. I feel like the journey has just started, am beginning to understand the alphabets, enjoying running a lot more and feeling confident to write a lot more for the beginner out there…

So this article is for all those who have tasted the joy of running with a 5k and now want to push their bodies and minds to their first 10k! I enjoy running 10k events a lot.

As a beginner, your first 10k goal should ideally be to finish it without having to walk! That’s exactly why you are wanting to train. And yes 10 k is double the 5k – but guess what you don’t need double the effort to get there. Here are some of my learnings and experiences in pointers:

Run minimum 3 times a week

Since you are already in the grove of running 5k, do about two weekday runs of 30 minutes each and a long run on the weekend. As you do this for about 2 weeks or more, and get comfortable with 30 minutes on your feet, there then comes a time to increase those 30 minutes to gradually 40 minutes or any time more than what you are doing right now. Idea is to be able to get comfortable with running longer than what you already do..

Stamina for 10k requires Crosstraining

What is crosstraining ? Dictionary.com says – Crosstraining is the action or practice of engaging in two or more sports or types of exercise in order to improve fitness or performance in one’s main sport.

  • Why do you need it – because when you are pushing your body for longer distances, it is working harder. Simply put, you need the strength take the beating on the road. As per your convenience of accessibility or comfort or love – you decide what form of cross training works best for you. For a home bound me – Yoga works best.  I also have access to a tennis court and that works too.

Weekend Runs

Weekend runs are by far my favorite. There is time, no rush to get back home and you can basically go longer and gradually learn to build mileage. Remember even if the effort to transform your running goal from 5k to 10k is not double, the mileage definitely is.

As you go along your training, add around 2 kms to your weekend run and take it up to 10 – 11 km at least two weeks before your final run day. Every other weekend, increase your long run by one to 2kms. I won’t talk about pace here at all. Th idea it to keep running without getting yourself super tired. The long runs are called Long Slow Distance runs that allow you to talk while running – the idea to learn to stay on your feet as long as you can. You could even consider adding a 30-60 seconds walk break after every 3-4 minutes of running.

Rest days can sometimes mean walk days

On a rest day if you feel like it, then doing a 30 minute brisk is great. Walking works as a great recovery for tired legs from pushing on runs. It still keeps the legs moving and never leaves you hugely tired or feeling sluggish. You don’t need to do much of speedwork in case this is your first and you are aiming a non-stop running 10k.

Invest in your shuteye bank

Sleeping right to me is one big aspect of training. Your sleep is all about your recovery from pushing your endurance levels. Even though 8 hours is what is recommended – I would say pack in whatever you can and make an effort for it. I have seen my performance deteriorate due to less sleep. We tend to forget this again and again – Running is not only about Running 🙂

Since this article is about cracking your very first 10k without having to walk – I haven’t included any speed workouts in here. A couple of good 10ks later – maybe then is a good idea to bring in the 10k personal best aspect into it.

Your 10k training could be 4 weeks or 8 weeks – most of it will depend upon your fitness levels, your 5k performance, your running consistancy, the event you want to run. There are many 10k plans online, but I always recommend getting in touch with your local star coach, getting some real advise on the training plan, talking about your work schedules and then finalizing a plan to go ahead with it. After all – the biggest bummer is a running injury and the first thing we want to keep our running away from is our injuries!

Happy first 10k!

Happy Running!


  • Tanya Agarwal
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    Welcome to Wellthyfit.com! Wellthyfit is my ‘writing venture’ on health and wellness and a constant reminder that health is our only everlasting wealth! Who am I - you can read here. But at the core of it all, I’m a mom who loves to run!

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Ruchika August 8, 2017 - 11:34 am

So well written mam just what a beginner needs to know…. As per d local star coach I consider u one mam hope to run with u someday n get more pointers on running form n technique.

Tanya Agarwal August 9, 2017 - 10:44 am

Ruchika. I run almost 5 times a week. Let me know when you want to run

Nanda August 8, 2017 - 12:38 pm

Good One..Ideal for beginners. Thanks.

Col Dr Suhag August 8, 2017 - 1:35 pm

Dear Tanya
Also share tips on Nutrition & Running gears for the beginner 10 k ameature running enthusiasts.
Happy reading.

Monika August 8, 2017 - 3:11 pm

Thanks I am planning my first 10k

Sheetal Soniminde January 14, 2019 - 12:15 pm

Hello mam I read your articles , you are inspiring and motivating always. Kindly suggest about obese beginners running , I can walk a marathon too but unable to run quite a few minutes , your advice will add a gem in my journey.

Tanya Agarwal January 14, 2019 - 12:58 pm

Hi Sheetal,

If you are obese, I suggest you first work on brisk walks and some diet because there is a posibillity that you have weak muscles and running on weak muscles is not a good thing. So how about we first get used to long brisk walks, reduce some weight through the right food and start feeling stronger. And then we can start our running journey.

Ritu bhatia January 14, 2019 - 12:57 pm

Very nice article.
I have been running sine one year, done my first half marathon inn2,40 last month.
Now i am not been able to push my self after 11km, dont know why, after every 5min or half km ,i took a break walk than again started.
Was carrying my hydration also, kept on sipping still ,done only 15km last sunday. In 2 hours
Kindly write something to increase my stamina and milage

Tanya Agarwal January 14, 2019 - 1:04 pm

HI Ritu,

Are you doing some basic strength training? Sometimes just running and running doesn’t do very good to the body, fatigue sets in. So we need some power moves, some core strength building – planks, squats, lunges. I would suggest – you run 3 times a week and 2 days add some good strength training to your routine. I have been through a similar phase and this is what has worked for me.

let me know,

Ritu bhatia January 14, 2019 - 1:13 pm

Yeah , I am doing little workout in gym and yoga class 2 times a week..
Still trying hard


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